"Don't fear the penguins."

Getting Linux

Anonymous FTP

Matt Welsh has released a new version of his Installation and Getting Started guide, version 2.1.1. Also, the Linux Documentation Project (the LDP) has put out several other books in various states of completion, and these are available at Stay tuned to comp.os.linux.announce.

At least the following anonymous ftp sites carry Linux.

Textual name                   Numeric address  Linux directory        
=============================  ===============  ===============              /pub/linux            /pub/Linux             /pub/OS/Linux             /pub/linux            /pub/linux           /packages/linux    /pub/linux    /pub/comp/os/linux    /pub/linux    /pub/Linux       /pub/os/Linux                /pub/linux           /pub/OS/Linux                  /systems/unix/linux      mirrors/linux          /pub/linux      /pub/linux           /pub/os/linux                                /pub/Linux              /pub/OS/linux           /Operating-Systems/Linux              /mirror/linux      /pub/linux         /pub/Linux and are the official sites for Linux' GCC. Some sites mirror other sites. Please use the site closest (network-wise) to you whenever possible.

At least and offer ftpmail services. Mail or ftp@informatik.tu- for help.

If you are lost, try looking at, where several distributions are offered. Slackware is well-tested, being one of the most popular Linux distributions.

Other methods of obtaining Linux

There are many BBS's that have Linux files. A list of them is occasionally posted to comp.os.linux.announce. Ask friends and user groups, or order one of the commmercial distributions. A list of these is contained in the Linux distribution HOWTO, available as, and posted regularily to the comp.os.linux.announce newsgroup.

Getting started

As mentioned at the beginning, Linux is not centrally administered. Because of this, there is no ``official'' release that one could point at, and say ``That's Linux.'' Instead, there are various ``distributions,'' which are more or less complete collections of software configured and packaged so that they can be used to install a Linux system.

The first thing you should do is to get and read the list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) from one of the FTP sites, or by using the normal Usenet FAQ archives (e.g. This document has plenty of instructions on what to do to get started, what files you need, and how to solve most of the common problems (during installation or otherwise).

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